Visiting Controllers

Given the popularity of our air traffic control training program, we have a large volume of home and transferring controllers who request training on a regular basis. In order to manage the workload on our volunteer Instructors and Mentors, Boston Virtual ARTCC is extremely selective in the acceptance of Visiting Controller applications.

VATSIM controllers who are interested in applying for visiting status at Boston Virtual ARTCC (BVA) should be aware that most applications will not be successful. The strongest candidates for visitor status are controllers who have achieved a C1 rating (or higher), or who receive internal recommendations from existing BVA controllers.

Although we cannot accept the majority of the visiting controller applications we receive, we encourage controllers to apply for visiting status by emailing The formal application for visiting status shall include, at a minimum, the information specified in the 'Visiting Controllers' section of the General SOP.

BVA will not provide any training to help with a successful evaluation. The controller is expected to be competent to the level commensurate with their rating. Failure to meet the standards commensurate with the rating the controller already holds may result in termination from the visiting controller roster, and referral back to the controller’s home ARTCCs ATM and TA, citing the deficiencies noted.

Visiting controllers who are added to our roster also become members of BVA's integrated community of pilots and air traffic controllers.

At no time will any authorization/certification applied at BVA supersede controllers' current ratings or certifications at their home ARTCC, and controllers may not proceed further than their rating or certification level at their home ARTCC.

Visiting Controllers holding a rank of I1 or I3 in their home ARTCC/FIR are not authorized to use those ranks when logged onto a BVA position. They should use the rank obtained prior to the Instructor promotion when connected to the live network.

Transferring Controllers 

Controllers wishing to apply for a transfer to BVA shall apply through VATUSA. Once logged in, click "Transfer Request" under "My VATUSA".

Once the OTS evaluation has been passed, and if the controller wishes to do so, the controller may pursue additional certifications by entering the BVA training program.

Transferred controllers will be subject to the ATC certification/position restriction standards. No facility certifications earned at other ARTCCs will be honored upon transfer. However, certified BVA visiting controllers who transfer-in shall retain all facility ratings earned at BVA.

Transferred controllers holding an instructor rating shall surrender the instructor rating and return to the last held grade, unless a specific arrangement to transfer an instructor into the BVA Instructor Staff is made with the Training Administrator, and approved by the ATM and the VATUSA Training Department.

Applicable to Both Visiting and Transferring Controllers

Any controller requesting to visit at or transfer to the Boston ARTCC will be subject to a background/history check. Requests may be declined on the basis of disciplinary matters (at the VATSIM, VATUSA, or local levels), inactivity, training issues, a poor or invalid reason for the request, and any other reason determined reasonable by the Air Traffic Manager and/or Deputy Air Traffic Manager. 

The Air Traffic Manager and/or Deputy Air Traffic Manager reserve the right to decline any requests for visiting controller status or transfer requests for just cause.

Upon acceptance of the request to visit or transfer (whichever is applicable), the controller will complete all applicable exams, and will then schedule an over the shoulder competency evaluation with a BVA mentor or instructor. Once a successful evaluation has taken place, the controller will then be allowed to control at non-major positions only. To control at KBOS, visiting or transferring controllers will proceed through the standard process for certifying at KBOS as outlined in the General SOP.

BVA operates in accordance with the VATSIM Executive Committee Policy Transfer and Visiting Controller Global Policy, VATSIM Northern American Region Visiting and Transferring Controller Policy (NARP-03-005), and VATUSA Visiting Controller Policy 09/06.

Initial Certification Flows

The following certification flows describe how a visiting or transferring controller's training will be processed up to the applicable Class C facility. Once your visiting or transferring application is approved, request the appropriate exam and training as outlined below.

Controllers Holding An S1 Rating:

  1. SOP exam
  2. DEL/GND exam
  3. S1 OTS evaluation

Controllers Holding An S2 Rating:

  1. SOP exam
  2. Local Control exam
  3. S2 OTS evaluation

Controllers Holding An S3, C1, or Higher Rating:

  1. SOP exam
  2. Local Control exam
  3. Approach Control exam
  4. S2/S3 OTS evaluation (generally two separate evaluations, but may be given in one sitting)


  1. Visiting S2 controllers gaining their S3 rating at their home ARTCC shall take the BVA Approach control exam and must pass an S3 OTS evaluation before being granted certification at Class C approach positions.
  2. Visiting controllers and transferees coming from outside of the VATUSA division shall take the DEL/GND exam between the SOP exam and the Local Control exam, as there are enough pertinent differences in DEL/GND procedures to warrant study and examination.
  3. Controllers who visit ZBW are required to proceed like any other student at KBOS. The full process required to obtain certifications at KBOS for visiting and transferring controllers is available in the General SOP.
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